I could start with punk rock’s first commandment “We don’t care” … but that wouldn’t be entirely true. We do. We see audiences enraptured by our performances but I can’t tell you that we have something special for you if I don’t know who you are. So I’m in a van in Northern Ontario on the second leg of a tour with nothing to do but think about you.
Because of my name and past we often get dismissed as rockabilly which is hard because fans of that music know we aren’t playing for them. I used to play it and that was a great decade but directions change. The same thing happened when I left Annihilator, anyone who came to see me expecting thrash left a little confused.
It’s been an ongoing transformation since Brandy and I sat down in 2011 and recorded Headless Fowl then hit the road with Murder by Death. The band then quickly went from more of a post-rocknroll trio to a Symphonic Americana 4-pc with cello, arco bass, guitars and percussion. We explore desert rock, bits and pieces of 70’s punk and post-rock with two vocalists and some of what they call the Jack White blues.
And it might be confusing (for sure it is to Google) that we still travel under my name. The reason is mainly because of the mileage on my odometer but also because I’ve learned how to make it happen. And we need that because this band totally nails it live; since we finished the Bestiary album the shows have been the best of my life. People call us intense, enigmatic and invigorating and that combination appeals to lots of folks seeking live entertainment no matter what they’re into.
But … we want to aim this beast at whoever is going to get the most out of it. So who are you? And where did you come from?
john at bigjohnbates dot com